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World number three Roger Federer exited the Monte Carlo Masters at the quarterfinals stage to Austrian Jurgen Melzer Friday. Melzer was securing his first victory over the 16-time grand slam champion as he ran out a 6-4 6-4 winner at the prestigious clay court event. It was the first defeat for Federer in a tournament this year, ending his hopes of claiming the Monte Carlo title for the first time after being beaten three times in the final by Rafael Nadal. He has drawn blank since claiming the ATP season-opener in Doha, Qatar.

Federer had breezed to the last eight, but was always struggling against Melzer in blustery conditions. Melzer broke for 3-2 in the opening set after an errant Federer forehand and held on to close it out. The second followed a similar pattern, with Federer unable to take advantage of on his seven break points in the match as the seventh seed went through. Melzer was pleased to finally get past his old nemesis in such convincing fashion.

Federer shrugged off his defeat as he now takes a two-week break before the Madrid Masters in his build-up to the French Open next month. “I don’t think I played awful, it was OK. Obviously, it was still the first week of clay, so I don’t expect myself to play my very best. If I had, it would be a pleasant surprise,” said the second seed. Melzer will now play world number six David Ferrer after the Spaniard saw off 11th Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-3 6-3 in an earlier match Friday.

Nadal will next face the winner of the final quarterfinal between third seed Andy Murray and Portuguese qualifier Frederico Gil.

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